WESTMINSTER, UK — Former shadow cabinet ministers and labour leadership challengers, Angela Eagle and Owen Smith, are close to making an arrangement that would lead to one single candidate taking on Jeremy Corbyn.
Eagle and Smith have decided that the candidate with the least nominations from Labour MPs will stand down from the competition, and support the other candidate’s campaign.
According to reports from the Guardian, Eagle and Smith intend to run on a joint ticket with one going for the leadership role and the other being assigned a senior position in the shadow cabinet.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faces the challenge after losing a vote of no confidence, where only 40 MPs supported his leadership. Both Angela Eagle and Owen Smith sat on Mr Corbyn’s front bench before resigning last month.
Allegedly, the decision was made at a hustings of Labour party MPs attended by Corbyn, Eagle and Smith, at which MP Yvette Cooper asked if either Eagle or Owen would step aside to make way for the other candidate if they received less nominations.
Cooper said, “There is one candidate currently on the ballot with no nominations. There are two other talented candidates seeking nominations, I am worried there are too many divisions already in the party, so we need a single unity candidate.”
Jeremy Corbyn has been the Labour leader since September of last year, winning the leadership contest by a landslide 59.5% victory against Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham. Under Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party membership is at a twenty-year high with a total of 500,000 members.